This is just a brief post but one that I thought was worth writing. I have been having on and off dialogues with protestants (one in particular), discussing the major points of difference between us and them. This has been somewhat challenging for me as I am knew to the faith and have found myself saying, “I don’t know”, “I will have to look into that” and generally just honestly admitting the limits of my knowledge quite frequently. The advantage of being Catholic though is I always have Christ’s authority on earth to turn to when I stumble in my knowledge.
Now of course a big issue is Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Lord. When I began my journey to the Catholic Church, this was one of the first areas of difference I looked into. The answers I was given when looking at Catholic works about Mary (and the Saints) immediately made sense to me and I saw no further problem. We don’t worship Mary, we honour her and ask for her intercession. This is why we say “pray for us”. We incidentally also don’t make idols of statues anymore than a protestant does of a family photo. Again very simple to me but I have not had much luck explaining this to protestants.
It seems that without really giving an argument, they just go on insisting that we do what we insist we do not. If this is not so, I should like to hear something of more substance than I have thus far. I will allow that one area where there seems to be some legitimate question is the Immaculate Conception. Again I have no problem with this as I accept the authority of the Catholic Church, believe in church tradition and see nothing in the Bible that contradicts this. I also don’t find it so hard to believe that the perfect man would need a perfect vessel to become man on earth.
When I have argued with protestants, I find I basically have to fight on their turf and that is with scripture. I’m fine to do this because I genuinely think there is no better ground to fight on despite lacking the authority and tradition of the church for reinforcement.
So I now belatedly come to the inspiration for the post which occurred to me a few weeks ago when I was reading the Bible and might be obvious from the blog title.
“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
I highly doubt this is an original thought but could this no be used as scriptural support for the Immaculate Conception of Mary? If Christ is the new wine then he would require a new skin. Thus the vessel for Christ should be sinless. If Mary had original sin than she was not in a sense “new”. Christ came to make all things new and we are made new through the sacrament of Baptism. Christ was not baptised by John because he needed to be made new as John immediately understood on meeting him. He came into the world sinless and perfect and it seems to me that he should have come through a vessel that was too sinless.
I am aware that there is more to this passage than what I have inferred but I think it is something scriptural. One might say this is not explicit textual evidence but then, as I have reminded protestants, neither is the Holy Trinity.
He is risen! Hallelujah!